First Words

(FeverGate 2012 Update: After 6 days on antibiotics with virtually no improvement, we went back to the doctor and got a new antibiotic. The improvement was almost immediate. His fever stopped spiking, his lips stopped turning blue, and he felt good enough to return to daycare the very next day. A week after switching antibiotics, he’s completely back to normal. It’s so great to have our happy boy back!)

Alexander has a few words in his vocabulary that he uses somewhat consistently. He’ll say “DaDa” to Tim and “Dah” to the dogs (though, to be fair, he says “Dah” about a lot of things…he’ll say it when pointing to the door, he’ll say it when he’s done eating, and he’ll say it when pointing to the dogs. Basically, there are lots of things in his life that start with a “D” sound, and he’s mastered it). But more than any other “D” word, the one word he uses most consistently and most accurately is “No.” I used to think it was just a sound he made, and it was nothing more than a funny coincidence when he would answer questions with his “no” sound. But as time goes on, we’re begrudgingly starting to get the impression that we’re going to have to write “No” down in the theoretical baby book as the official First Word.

Lately, Alexander’s been playing a fun game where he likes to dangle himself head-first over the side of the couch and have us pull him back to safety by his feet. We try very hard not to encourage this behavior since it’s obviously dangerous, but the kid is determined to do a nose dive off the side of the couch and onto the hardwood floor. The other day, as luck would have it, I was half a second too slow in grabbing his feet to pull him back from the edge, and he finally succeeded in throwing himself to the floor face first. Much wailing (Alexander) and frantic checking for massive head wounds (Tim and me) ensued, but he calmed down after a few minutes and only had a small scratch on his forehead to show for his tumble.

Tim tried to use reason (as you do with a 13-month-old) to explain to Alexander that this is why we don’t do nose dives off the couch and asked, “Did you learn a lesson?”

“No,” was the child’s prompt reply.

“Are you going to stop playing that dangerous game?”


And then, trying a different tactic: “Are you going to do that again?”

No response.

This kid has learned the word “no,” and I’m beginning to think we’re in for quite the wild ride raising our mischievous little monkey.

(Sure enough, less than an hour later, Alexander was crawling back to the arm of the couch, dangling over the edge head first all over again. At least he didn’t lie to us about whether or not he learned anything.)

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